BFCSA Blog

Led by award-winning consumer advocate Denise Brailey, BFCSA (Inc) are a group of people who are concerned about the appalling growth of Loan Fraud around the world. BFCSA (Inc) is a not for profit organisation in the spirit of global community concern and justice.

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From My Window

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Subcategories from this category: Time to Relax, COURTS & LEGALS
ASIC tallies Westpac’s responsible lending law breaches The Australian 12:00am May 7, 2019 Anthony Klan   Westpac broke responsible lending laws more than 260,000 times in just over three years, the corporate watchdog had told the Federal Court in Sydney this morning. Lawyers for the Australian Securities & Investments Commission said between December 2011 and March 2015, Westpac engaged in a “systematic approach” of ignoring the living expenses loan applicants had stated on application forms. Instead it relied on broad living expense “benchmarks”, which, if they were true, would in some cases have meant the loan applicant was already living on, or close to, the poverty line, ASIC told the court. ASIC said Westpac failed to properly verify the actual financial positions of borrowers a total of 261,987 times. In 154,351 of those cases, the bank also failed to use correct figures when assessing if borrowers taking out interest-only loans could...
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ASIC responsible lending crimps credit: ANZ and NAB John Kehoe  27 March 2019    https://www.afr.com/news/economy/asic-responsible-lending-crimps-credit-anz-and-nab-20190327-p517xu    ANZ Banking Group and National Australia Bank are at loggerheads with corporate cop James Shipton, who has slammed bankers for spreading a "myth" that the regulator's responsible lending crackdown is exacerbating a credit squeeze.    ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliot said bankers reacting cautiously to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's more stringent application of lending standards meant some home buyers and businesses "will find it harder to borrow".  He also rebuffed ASIC chief prosecutor Dan Crennan's ambitions to lock bankers in jail, in response to questions from Liberal MP Tim Wilson about unintended consequences from a royal commission-inspired clampdown.   "People should pay the consequence of poor behaviour or misconduct or breaking the law," Mr Elliott said at a parliamentary hearing in Canberra.     "I would have thought the right outcome here is not how many people are in jail but do we have a fully functioning financial system that is responsible and generating good outcomes for our...
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NAB axes controversial home loan referral program Sydney Morning Herald March 25, 2019 6.14pm Clancy Yeates   Real estate agents, lawyers and sports clubs will no longer be able to receive payments from National Australia Bank for helping sell home loans, in a move aimed at rebuilding trust after the bank's reputation took a battering at the royal commission. Acting chief executive Phil Chronican on Monday announced the axing of NAB's "introducer" scheme, to take effect from October, saying that scrapping the payments was "the right thing to do". Referral schemes, such as NAB's introducer program, are used by banks as a way of drumming up business. They involve paying a type of spotter's fee to people who refer customers to the bank if they end up taking out a loan. NAB made nearly $100 million in such payments between 2013 and 2016, offering commissions of 0.4 per cent of loans,...
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The big banks' nice earners are melting away Australian Financial Review Mar 22, 2019 11.00pm Karen Maley   After months of crippling humiliation before the Hayne commission, the last thing the country's big four banks wanted was another portent of looming competition. But that's exactly what they got in September when the country's largest super fund, AustralianSuper, announced it was committing £230 million ($425 million) to finance a new office, hotel and residential unit development in London, known as One Crown Place. It was a logical next step for AustralianSuper, which had already lent some $1 billion to Australian companies, but almost always in tandem with one of the big four local banks. In contrast, there were no local banks in sight in the One Crown Place deal – which boosted AustralianSuper's international loan exposure to more than $2 billion. In that transaction, AustralianSuper found itself rubbing shoulders with major global banks. It was a...
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Retail funds dominate in 50 worst-performing super investments The Australian 12:00am January 19, 2019 Anthony Klan   EXCLUSIVE  Every one of the 50 worst-performing balanced superannuation investments over seven years has been operated by retail funds such as ANZ, Westpac and IOOF, with just one product offered by the for-profit sector making it onto the list of the top 135 performers. In revelations that categorically bring to an end the fierce three-decade dispute between retail and industry funds over which is superior, secretive and highly detailed industry data obtained by The Weekend Australian shows that regardless of the investment timeframe or level of risk involved, retail funds are unquestionably consistently at the bottom and industry funds are consistently at the top. Despite every worker being forced to divert a portion of every pay packet into compulsory super since it was introduced in 1992 — and the key choice most people face...
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7.30 Report’s “House of Cards” (Part 2) does the credit crackdown Macro Business11:15 am on December 12, 2018 Leith van Onselen ABC 7.30 Report last night aired the second of a three part special on Australia’s budding housing bust, which is well worth watching. The episode focussed on how the credit crackdown is putting heat on buyers and developers. The episode first features several quotes about systemic mortgage fraud and loose lending: MS ROWENA ORR, QC, SENIOR COUNSEL ASSISTING: Multiple bank employees across multiple branches in the Greater Western Sydney area were accepting false documents in support of loan applications. ANTHONY WALDRON, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED: People did step outside their responsible lending guidelines. ROWENA ORR: There were unsuitable loans. There was false documentation. KAREN COX, FINANCIAL RIGHTS LEGAL CENTRE: Just really inappropriate lending. We don’t resile from anything that the royal commission has identified… It then featured a short discussion...
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Shadow banks grab market share with big borrowing savings for property buyers Australian Financial Review 12 Dec 2018 3:19 PM Duncan Hughes   Shadow banks are grabbing property market share from the majors with rates nearly 80 basis points cheaper and faster loan approval, analysis of rates and conditions shows. The banks, which are not authorised as deposit-taking institutions, are growing at 2½ times than their rivals but still account for only 9.5 per cent of the mortgage market, according to analysis. The regulation-light sector has avoided most of the consumer fall-out from the banking royal commission and restrictions imposed on the majors by prudential regulators, such as caps on lending and pressure to intensify scrutiny of borrowers' income and spending. They have also shown a greater risk appetite by continuing to target low-documentation borrowers, who are typically self-employed or small business owners that do not have access to pay slip...
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NAB chief tells inquiry banks started ‘drifting’ from customers 20 years ago Andrew Thorburn says he is ashamed of how National Australia Bank has behaved in recent years https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/19/nab-chief-tells-inquiry-banks-started-drifting-from-customers-20-years-ago The National Australia Bank chief executive, Andrew Thorburn, has conceded that problems began seeping into the country’s banking industry two decades ago. He says that when he entered banking 30 years ago, he was taught that banks existed to serve customers, but the industry started to “drift” in the late 1990s and he was ashamed of how NAB had behaved in recent years. It means two-thirds of his banking career has been spent in an industry drifting away from customers. “When I started in banking, it was serving customers, [that] was what was drilled into us [about] why we existed,” Thorburn said on Friday.  It is greed that has led Australian banks to steal from dead people Richard Denniss     Read...
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CBA mulled warning dead customers about fees in product disclosure statement Australian Financial Review Aug 15 2018 4:14 PM James Frost   The Commonwealth Bank's superannuation trustee, Avanteos Investments Limited, considered covering its tracks over the charging of dead people for financial advice by updating its product disclosure statement (PDS), the Hayne royal commission heard. Counsel assisting Michael Hodge, QC, was questioning Colonial First State's executive general manager Linda Elkins about a range of conflicts within the bank's superannuation trustee business, including the charging of dead customers for financial advice. Ms Elkins explained that following revelations that the bank's financial advisers had been charging dead customers for financial advice back in April, a review of the bank's superannuation arm took place which revealed it was charging dead superannuation customers as far back as 2015. Ms Elkins said that in a review conducted this year, it was found that a way to...
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Suncorp used 'tax surplus' for admin rather than return money to members Sydney Morning Herald 14 August 2018 5:53am Clancy Yeates   Suncorp's superannuation trustee used tax refunds within funds to purchase administrative services from other parts of the financial conglomerate, instead of returning the money to members as many funds do, the royal commission heard. As part of its scrutiny of superannuation trustees, the Hayne royal commission on Monday afternoon turned its attention to how Suncorp used what it called a "tax surplus." This referred to member funds that were collected for taxation purposes, but the fund ended up with a surplus because of deductions. Senior counsel assisting the commission, Michael Hodge QC, questioned Maurizio Pinto, the head of the office of the trustee within Suncorp Portfolio Services Limited (SPSL), about the arrangement, and the monitoring of the services provided. Mr Hodge said "many" other super funds dealt with a...
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Banking royal commission: super rip-offs, gouging revealed The Australian 12:00am August 7, 2018 Ben Butler, Elizabeth Redman, Michael Roddan   Australians are being ripped off by super fund trustees “surrounded by temptation” to do the wrong thing with the $2.6 trillion retirement savings pile, while regulators are failing to search out and punish bad behaviour, the banks royal commission has heard. In one example of fee gouging outlined at the royal commission yesterday, NAB charged a customer of its MLC division an array of fees that gobbled up $892.20 of $1101.95 earned from a year-long investment in the simplest option available, cash. As the commission investigates the inner workings of the compulsory superannuation system over the next two weeks of hearings, it will explore how retirement savers are swindled through fees for services they never receive, cosy deals between retail super funds and the banks that control them, account-draining insurance premiums,...
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Watchdog failed to act on warning over super fees The Australian 12:00am July 23, 2018 Anthony Klan   EXCLUSIVE  The regulator responsible for the nation’s $2.6 trillion superannuation nest egg was warned by its analysts eight years ago that the major banks and finance companies were charging members more than 2½ times the market rates for services, delivering them billions of dollars a year in extra profits. A 2010 research paper published by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority — which can now be accessed only via a federal government archive — shows excessive fees charged by the managers of the retail, or for-profit, funds have been systemically eating into the retirement savings of millions of workers. Despite the peer-reviewed academic paper being written by APRA’s own analysts, including then APRA research head Bruce Arnold, the regulator has not only failed to take any significant steps to address the issue, it has...
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How ASIC closed in on AMP’s ‘orphan’ customers The Australian 12:00am July 16, 2018 Pamela Williams   The key document that sparked AMP to commission Clayton Utz last year to investigate its “fees for no service” scandal was already in the sights of the corporate regulator before the consultancy’s ­report was ever completed and handed to the AMP board. This explosive AMP internal document, which became known at the corporate regulator as the “orphan contracts document”, five years ago canvassed the ­severe risks for AMP if it did not cease charging fees on so-called “orphan policies” where clients had no financial adviser. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission was sharply tightening its focus on AMP last year with demands for historic paperwork after several years of investigating AMP and big banks over fees for no service. The formal demand from ASIC for all records relating to the orphan contracts document was...
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APRA rejects claim it needs to do 'a better job', blames ASIC Australian Financial Review Mar 28 2018 12:56 PM James Frost   Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority chairman Wayne Byres has denied his organisation was unable to keep the banks in line and said there is little evidence of a lending free-for-all. After more than an hour of questioning of about revelations of lax lending standards from the Hayne royal commission, he told the House Economics Committee  that while there was a small cohort of borrowers who would have difficulty servicing loans when rates move higher there was no sign of a broader problem. "We are still dealing with an environment in which arrears are not particularly high, they are higher than they have been for a while, but if lending was a free-for-all in the way that some are suggesting I think arrears rates and other things, indicators of financial...
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BFCSA Members sent in 400 letters and evidence of fraud to CORRUPT ASIC re 2012 Mortgage Fraud.  ASIC told Parliament in evidence: NO SYSTEMIC issues in banking and mortgages.................................................. BFCSA Members AGREE that ASIC cannot be trusted to handle consumer complaints.  Collectively we have amassed mountains of evidence of the corruption if ASIC, sustained over 8 - 10 years.  ASIC protected the Bankers and demonised Consumers and Borrowers.  I personally had over 30 meetings with ASIC executives for over 19 years.  The Commissioners have been fully briefed.  ASIC should have been asking BFCSA/RECA discover the Australian Bankers Control Fraud and Mortgage Fraud.   BREAKING NEWS.....TODAY! ASIC have told the Senate committee on Wednesday that it's finally decided to 'look into' mortgage fraud and see for themsleves "how wide spread it really is!!!"  This is despite ASIC's blatant lies to the Senate, time and again: "we can see no evidence of systemic issues!" CORRUPT ASIC have sat on a mass...
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FBAA defends commission model to Senate inquiry   1 May 2017   Annie Kane   https://www.theadviser.com.au/breaking-news/36012-flat-fee-model-could-lead-to-poor-consumer-outcomes-fbaa   The industry association has defended the current broker commission model to the Senate economics references committee and warned that switching to a flat fee model could lead to “extremely poor consumer outcomes”.   At a public hearing in Sydney last week, the executive director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA), Peter White, was questioned on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) report into remuneration and whether there were any poor consumer outcomes happening in the broker sector.   Touching on the ASIC recommendation that lenders “change their standard commission arrangements so that brokers are not incentivised purely on the size of the loan”, the senate questioned whether fees for service, rather than commissions, would be a suitable alternative.  However, Mr White told the senators that this would not be in the best interest of the...
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Record numbers under mortgage stress   1 May 2017 Duncan Hughes http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/record-numbers-under-mortgage-stress-20170501-gvw2vt Record numbers of Australian households face mortgage stress as large loans and rising interest rates start to bite, according to detailed analysis of lending, repayments and household incomes. Affluent suburban postcodes feature among an estimated 1000 households a week expected to face mortgage default over the next 12 months, the analysis reveals. "Debt stress momentum is unprecedented," according to Martin North, principal of research firm Digital Finance Analytics, who has been doing the survey for more than 15 years.  "This is not just about mortgage battlers. It is also hitting the households with bigger incomes and more leverage. It is worrisome," Mr North said. Numbers of borrowers in severe distress has increased by about one-third to about 32,000 in the past 12 months, he said.  Concern that 767,000 households – or one-in-four across the nation – are facing financial distress...
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ASIC admits product manufacturers try to shift blame   1 May 2017   Mike Taylor   http://www.moneymanagement.com.au/news/financial-planning/asic-admits-product-manufacturers-try-shift-blame   The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has acknowledged that product manufacturers have too often blamed distributors such as financial planners when product failures have occurred.   ASIC deputy chairman, Peter Kell has told the Senate Economics Committee inquiry into consumer protection in the banking, insurance and financial sector that such instances have occurred over many years.   Explaining why ASIC was pursuing a product intervention power, Kell said there had been an unwillingness on the part of product manufacturers to take responsibility.   Related News:   ·         Investment leaders need to transform their business   ·         Average 3.8 days for approval to go off APL   “… one of the problems we have typically encountered over many years in this sector is that if something goes wrong you often have the product...
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300,000 Victorian households struggling to meet repayments Michael Mata 28 April 2017 http://www.yourmortgage.com.au/article/300000-victorian-households-struggling-to-meet-repayments-235555.aspx   Hundreds of thousands of Victorian households are under mortgage stress, and many more would be pushed to the brink of defaulting on their loans if banks continue to hike their interest rates, warns consulting firm Digital Finance Analytics (DFA).  Some 300,000 Victorian homeowners are struggling to meet their mortgage repayments – a figure that would nearly double if interest rates were to rise by 2%. As the Turnbull government scrambles to tackle the housing affordability crisis in the upcoming May budget, economists warn that rising interest rates would hurt those who’re barely holding onto the property ladder.  Modelling produced by the DFA shows that property-owning, working-class families in Narre Warren, Craigieburn, Endeavour Hills, and Berwick are facing the most acute mortgage stress. Even a mere 0.5% interest-rate rise would put an additional 50,000 owner-occupiers and investors...
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The financial curse - watch the video!       We can't 'hold back the tide' in housing market: APRA's Wayne Byres   Clancy Yeates   28 April 2017-04-28   http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/we-cant-hold-back-the-tide-in-housing-market-apras-wayne-byres-20170428-gvuqk4.html   Australia's powerful banking regulator has stressed it cannot "hold back the tide" of the property cycle and exert control over house prices, underlining the limitations of recent curbs on bank home lending.  Wayne Byres, chair of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, highlighted this reality as he also flagged "further tightening" from banks in the $1.5 trillion mortgage market.   In response to a rapid build-up of household debt and soaring Sydney and Melbourne house prices, Mr Byres last month unveiled new caps on interest-only lending by banks, causing lenders to raise interest rates for some borrowers.  ANZ was the latest bank to respond on Friday, raising fixed interest rates for customers taking out interest-only home loans by up to 0.4...
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